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View Full Version : Automatic vs Manual transmission


alnorth
04-23-2006, 10:12 AM
On which side of this divide do you stand, and why?

I learned how to drive on manual transmission, but I got stuck with my parent's old automatic for the last year after graduation. I will buy a new car this summer or fall, and I refuse to consider automatics because of the lack of control.

(On that note, anything to keep in mind specific to manual transmission when car shopping?)

Dunit35
04-23-2006, 10:13 AM
I have driven an automatic since I started driving. I'm not a very good stick driver but driving a stick sure is a lot funner.

ChiefFripp
04-23-2006, 10:15 AM
I like to concentrate on avoiding the CRAZY drivers in Orlando, so I'm glad I have an automatic.

DJay23
04-23-2006, 10:19 AM
I prefer manual quite a deal over automatic, but it's hard to find a gas-guzzling, baby seal squashing, ozone scorching SUV that is manual.

burt
04-23-2006, 10:21 AM
You left out 1 choice. "I prefer manual, but do not make it a major factor, when I purchase"

Oh, and that is how I feel. I have owned both....just PREFER manual.

As far as purchasing a manual...it's kinda like finding a salesman. If it doesn't feel right, there is probably a reason.

JBucc
04-23-2006, 10:23 AM
I like an automatic so I'm not distracted from my cell phone and dvd player

Bearcat
04-23-2006, 10:27 AM
Driving, talking on my cell phone, checking email, putting a tie on, changing DVDs and reading Ivanhoe is enough... I don't think I could handle driving a stick, too.

Seriously though... I had an '89 Beretta and didn't like the automatic, but my new car's is so much smoother and worry-free, there's really no need for anything else.

hypersensitiveZO6
04-23-2006, 11:12 AM
If your the kind that likes to lay down rubber every once in awhile, go with manual. It really depends on what kind of car you want and your purpose of driving the car.

UteChief
04-23-2006, 11:31 AM
I prefer the SMG from VW but my accord has an auto. I prefer manuals in cars and auto in SUV or truck.

CoMoChief
04-23-2006, 11:36 AM
If you're gonna get a sports car, please do not get an automatic. Auto tranny's are for girls, who by the way shouldnt be driving anyway.

Manuel tranny's are more fun, but its very hard to talk on a cell phone or eat something if you are in the city (go stop go stop, etc.) but on the highways it doesnt really matter I guess.

Mr. Flopnuts
04-23-2006, 12:00 PM
I much prefer to drive rather than to travel, so I like manuals better. Traffic dictates I travel rather than drive though, so I own an automatic.

Frazod
04-23-2006, 12:22 PM
The "heavy traffic" option is almost word-for-word what I would have said. I live in suburban Chicago. Traffic up here drives me insane anyway - dealing with a stick shift on top of that would be way too much.

Rain Man
04-23-2006, 12:37 PM
It makes me no difference. The manual is a little more fun because I can coast and play around with RPMs, but the automatic is much better in traffic. I don't drive enough to need one versus the other.

CHIEF4EVER
04-23-2006, 12:48 PM
The "heavy traffic" option is almost word-for-word what I would have said. I live in suburban Chicago. Traffic up here drives me insane anyway - dealing with a stick shift on top of that would be way too much.

I feel for ya dude. I can't imagine what it would be like to drive the abortion known as the Stevenson "Expressway" during rush hour every day - even with an automatic. A stick would make a normal person go friggin postal.

alnorth
04-23-2006, 12:52 PM
heh, I can also imagine a potential car thief peeking into the window and muttering "oh hell, I can't drive a friggen stick!", and moving on. :)

Phobia
04-23-2006, 12:54 PM
I've driven a stick in Houston traffic. If shifting is second nature to you, you won't even notice. But if you struggle to shift and have to think about every gear change you'll get annoyed by it in traffic.

BigMeatballDave
04-23-2006, 01:22 PM
I think it depends on your driving. If you drive in heavy traffic, a stick is the last thing you'd want to drive.

BigMeatballDave
04-23-2006, 01:24 PM
I've driven a stick in Houston traffic. If shifting is second nature to you, you won't even notice. But if you struggle to shift and have to think about every gear change you'll get annoyed by it in traffic.Its all the clutching that bothers me.

SLAG
04-23-2006, 01:32 PM
Alot of folks say that an Automatic is bad for racing,

I say it depends on the type of race,

In a Drag Race a Automatic Tranny Done Right is Going to be Faster and More Consisitant than an Manual, the main reason being no one can shift into the powerband faster then an Automatic tranny.

a Manual Def. Gives you a better feel for the car, as well let you have more control over your RPM's, but if you have an good computer hooked into your electronics then an automatic could be controllable even more.

My camaro had an 350 Tubo, with an 2500 Stall Converter, A B&M super Street Shift Kit and a 4:11POSI in the Rear, Not Ment for Highway use just for drag Racing,

My good friends camaro was the 02 Z28 with the Hurst 6 Speed Short throw Shifter, It was Awesome...
I drove it a few times but one day he really let it open and we were doing 160 in 5th gear :D

anyway its really a Personal Choice and Depends on the Driving Application

Skip Towne
04-23-2006, 01:55 PM
Automatic. Stick went out with the '50's except for kids that want to f*ck with all the clutching and shifting.

KCChiefsMan
04-23-2006, 02:40 PM
I think driving a manual while drunk would be more difficult, so I drive an automatic

TrebMaxx
04-23-2006, 02:41 PM
I have a manual in my Mustang GT for the fun factor. Nothing like hitting some twisty roads with a manual. In my SUV, its a auto. Oh, and I don't think manuals went out in the "50's" and are just for kids, I am 43. I think it depends on the car and what you want to do with it. Also manuals can provide better mpg than an auto. It is also true that in the same type of car manuals will have more rwhp than an auto. If I lived in a city that had major trafic I would prefer an auto because it does get tiresome driving a stick in heavy trafic.

KcMizzou
04-23-2006, 02:56 PM
In a Drag Race a Automatic Tranny Done Right is Going to be Faster and More Consisitant than an Manual, the main reason being no one can shift into the powerband faster then an Automatic tranny.
Holy random capitalization, Batman!

el borracho
04-23-2006, 03:07 PM
I refuse to buy automatics. I also refuse to live anywhere that has heavy traffic which would require an automatic.

PastorMikH
04-23-2006, 03:18 PM
Alot of folks say that an Automatic is bad for racing,

I say it depends on the type of race,

In a Drag Race a Automatic Tranny Done Right is Going to be Faster and More Consisitant than an Manual, the main reason being no one can shift into the powerband faster then an Automatic tranny.





It really depends on the car. The Automatic takes more power from the engine. In cars with V*s with plenty of horsepower, the power loss from the automatic is made up for with the quicker shifting.

In the smaller engines, the power drain from the AT is a bit harder to make up for. Back in my teens, my dad let me have an ugly orange Datsun 510 station wagon with a 1.6L motor. That car has a AT. When I wrecked the car, I ended up with another Datsun 510 and swapped the motors because the new car's motor was shot. This one had a MT - only difference. The first car's top end was 95-100 mph. The new car's top end was 125-130. At the stoplight, the orange car MIGHT beat a pinto. The new one could hold it's own, with most V8s racing stoplight to stoplight - and I beat more than my share. (1/4 mile would kill it since it ran out of power long before the 1/4 was over). And fuel mileage was way up too. The MT vs AT was the only difference between the two.

And as for an AT shifting faster, to an experienced driver, the difference isn't as much as one might think.

I preffer the MT, but they are getting harder to find.

dtebbe
04-23-2006, 03:24 PM
Its all the clutching that bothers me.

Yes, espeically if your car has a beast of a clutch like my mustang does.
I've got the left calf to prove it :)

DT

cdcox
04-23-2006, 03:24 PM
Never had any trouble shifting in heavy traffic. I prefer a manual in a truck or anything sporty. For a family sedan, I'd go with the auto.

Skip Towne
04-23-2006, 03:27 PM
It really depends on the car. The Automatic takes more power from the engine. In cars with V*s with plenty of horsepower, the power loss from the automatic is made up for with the quicker shifting.

In the smaller engines, the power drain from the AT is a bit harder to make up for. Back in my teens, my dad let me have an ugly orange Datsun 510 station wagon with a 1.6L motor. That car has a AT. When I wrecked the car, I ended up with another Datsun 510 and swapped the motors because the new car's motor was shot. This one had a MT - only difference. The first car's top end was 95-100 mph. The new car's top end was 125-130. At the stoplight, the orange car MIGHT beat a pinto. The new one could hold it's own, with most V8s racing stoplight to stoplight - and I beat more than my share. (1/4 mile would kill it since it ran out of power long before the 1/4 was over). And fuel mileage was way up too. The MT vs AT was the only difference between the two.

And as for an AT shifting faster, to an experienced driver, the difference isn't as much as one might think.

I preffer the MT, but they are getting harder to find.
Did you see my thread with my buddy's '55 Chevy that turns a 10.39 with a carbureted engine? It as a Powerglide AT. If he thought he could shave .10 of a second with a MT, he would do it. It used to be nearly all drag racers used MT with Dodge being the exception. Now most of them use AT.

CrazyHorse
04-23-2006, 03:34 PM
Alot of folks say that an Automatic is bad for racing,

I say it depends on the type of race,

In a Drag Race a Automatic Tranny Done Right is Going to be Faster and More Consisitant than an Manual, the main reason being no one can shift into the powerband faster then an Automatic tranny.

a Manual Def. Gives you a better feel for the car, as well let you have more control over your RPM's, but if you have an good computer hooked into your electronics then an automatic could be controllable even more.

My camaro had an 350 Tubo, with an 2500 Stall Converter, A B&M super Street Shift Kit and a 4:11POSI in the Rear, Not Ment for Highway use just for drag Racing,

My good friends camaro was the 02 Z28 with the Hurst 6 Speed Short throw Shifter, It was Awesome...
I drove it a few times but one day he really let it open and we were doing 160 in 5th gear :D

anyway its really a Personal Choice and Depends on the Driving Application

Automatic is better for racing because you can preload the suspension. It's better for launching . That's why all your drag cars are autos. They have a manual valve body so you still have to shift the car, you just dont have a clutch to deal with.

Kerberos
04-23-2006, 03:38 PM
The WU and I BOTH can drive either auto or manual. But.......

In the family car it has to be an Automatic. Kinda hard to shift when you are reaching in the back seat to smack the kids around. And the WU uses it at work and realy prefers an automatic.

In my pickup or second vehicle that I would use to go to work it would have to be a manual. In a pickup it is nice to have a granny gear for pulling things out or being able to shift down while towing sh!t down the road. Not that you couldn't do that with an auto but it just seems more practicle to do it with a manual.

.

Skip Towne
04-23-2006, 03:42 PM
The WU and I BOTH can drive either auto or manual. But.......

In the family car it has to be an Automatic. Kinda hard to shift when you are reaching in the back seat to smack the kids around. And the WU uses it at work and realy prefers an automatic.

In my pickup or second vehicle that I would use to go to work it would have to be a manual. In a pickup it is nice to have a granny gear for pulling things out or being able to shift down while towing sh!t down the road. Not that you couldn't do that with an auto but it just seems more practicle to do it with a manual.

.
Another feature of a MT that you probably use is they can be push started.

StcChief
04-24-2006, 07:03 AM
Use to love a stick....
Would buy one again...

the shift gate auto/triptronic is real nice.

Dr. Facebook Fever
04-24-2006, 07:10 AM
Automatic... I usually have a cell phone in one hand and cigarette in the other so the truck needs to do the work... and it's hard to drink a beer and shift....... (kidding)

morphius
04-24-2006, 07:20 AM
I would have loved to find my car in a 5 speed, I just couldn't find one anywhere near here. Sadly the 6 speed, which was fun as hell, was way too much money for the car.

COchief
04-24-2006, 08:32 AM
Real men only drive manuals.

/drives an auto :(

Amnorix
04-24-2006, 08:49 AM
I learned to drive on an automatic, and never had the opportunity to learn how to drive a stick. I regret that I can't, because I think it would be good to at least know how.

But I live near Boston, where the traffic is legendary-bad, so automatic is the only practical choice anyway.

Radar Chief
04-24-2006, 08:58 AM
Manual.
Aside from reasons already give’n (horsepower lost due to increased internal friction and their inherent problems at least partially due to the heat that increased friction creates) I hate wait’n for something else to decide what gear I should be in.
Though I’d love to drive something with an “Auto-Stick” sometime, that could be cool.

StcChief
04-24-2006, 09:03 AM
Manual.
Aside from reasons already give’n (horsepower lost due to increased internal friction and their inherent problems at least partially due to the heat that increased friction creates) I hate wait’n for something else to decide what gear I should be in.
Though I’d love to drive something with an “Auto-Stick” sometime, that could be cool.

Auto stick (shift gate or Triptronic) is very cool.... best of both worlds...IMHO

Otis99
04-24-2006, 09:14 AM
A manual transmission offers you a direct gear-to-gear drive between the engine and the road. In an auto, you have no mechanical connection between the engine and trans, only a spinning case of transmisison fluid. Because of this, you get better throttle response with a manual and in general you feel more "connected" to the road. This feel cannot be duplicated with any auto transmission I have ever seen (although an auto trans with a "lockup" negates this somewhat, not that you would notice since any more than light throttle will unlock it after it has locked up).

Bottom line, I won't ever drive an auto again if I can help it.

StcChief
04-24-2006, 10:21 AM
A manual transmission offers you a direct gear-to-gear drive between the engine and the road. In an auto, you have no mechanical connection between the engine and trans, only a spinning case of transmisison fluid. Because of this, you get better throttle response with a manual and in general you feel more "connected" to the road. This feel cannot be duplicated with any auto transmission I have ever seen (although an auto trans with a "lockup" negates this somewhat, not that you would notice since any more than light throttle will unlock it after it has locked up).

Bottom line, I won't ever drive an auto again if I can help it.

Sticks are better connected to road feel, love them really.....

Yeah, if you have to run rush hour traffic, around town crap all the time, it get's real old running a clutch.

I guess it depends on what you do and where you go daily....

I'd love a weekend only stick for fun, but not right now.

QuikSsurfer
04-24-2006, 10:23 AM
never owned an automatic :shrug:
had 3 mustangs and a toyota tacoma - all manual

Rain Man
04-24-2006, 10:31 AM
I learned to drive on an automatic, and never had the opportunity to learn how to drive a stick. I regret that I can't, because I think it would be good to at least know how.

But I live near Boston, where the traffic is legendary-bad, so automatic is the only practical choice anyway.

I got my first car with a manual transmission when I was 21 or 22. Once you know how to drive an automatic, it just takes two or three days of driving to figure out the manual.

I've got an employee right now who's working on a project with me that's about 60 miles away. I can't bring the BMW if I want him to drive, because he hasn't learned yet, and I'm not going to let him learn on the BMW. That's what Avis and Hertz are for.

Donger
04-24-2006, 10:34 AM
I've never owned a car with an automatic tranny, and I learned to drive using a car with a manual. My mind tends to wander when I drive an automatic, so be careful if you're around me when I'm driving a rental.

Frosty
04-24-2006, 10:36 AM
I prefer a manual but both of our cars are autos, mostly because manuals weren't available (the CR-V comes with a manual but only if you buy one with a bunch of other stuff we didn't want to pay for). It's getting very difficult to find cars with manuals.

A manual transmission also kills your re-sale value on a newer car.

Jilly
04-24-2006, 10:36 AM
I drove an automatic for awhile, but I learned to drive on a manual. I went back to the manual because I like having the control over when the car actually shifts and it gets better gas mileage. And getting the headset for my phone helped free my hands for, you know, driving.

luv
04-24-2006, 10:39 AM
Anyone who's been to/through Springfield knows that, along with churches and chinese restaurants on every corner, we have stoplights at nearly every intersection. I know some people who drive manuals, and I've learned how to (a loooong time ago). For me, I'd rather just stick with the automatic.

Miles
04-24-2006, 11:20 AM
Definitly a manual transmission only. I never found the driving in rush hour traffic to be a problem either. Its a little annoying at times but not that big of a deal.

About the only thing I don't mind an auto in is SUVs and trucks but I wouldn't consider buying one of those anyway.